They were by themselves, which was unusual.
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And then I started to sweat, because I knew the bill was mine. Doing so made her feel sick, but after all the money Anna had spent on her, she understood it was her turn. She was sure Anna was good for the money. In cash.
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When Anna came by her desk the next day, Neff took her aside and told her that management had said Anna needed to pay her bill. Anna nodded, her eyes inscrutable behind her sunglasses. There was a wire transfer on the way, she said. It should arrive soon. Then, about midway into her shift, Anna came by the desk again and, with a mischievous smile on her face, told Neff to expect a package. Neff hesitated. Gifts, especially of the liquid variety, needed to be approved by management. One morning, Anna showed up to her morning session with the trainer looking visibly upset.
She was trying to build something, to do something, she went on, and no one was taking her seriously. The trainer told her to breathe. Then something miraculous happened. Citibank sent 11 Howard a wire transfer on behalf of Ms. Neff called Anna on her cell phone. Across the street at Rick Owens, Anna replied. Neff checked the clock: It was her lunch break. When she came through the door of the store, Anna was holding up a T-shirt. A few weeks later, Anna told Neff she was going to Omaha.
But there was still a problem with her account at 11 Howard. Neff texted Anna in Omaha to deliver the bad news. The conference had been great, she said. Neff wanted to go, badly.
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But there was no way the hotel would let her take off eight days. For a day or two, Neff considered it. But her mom told her she had a bad feeling about it. Two days in, after coming down with a nasty case of food poisoning, the trainer had gone back to New York early. About a week later, the trainer got a call from Anna, who was alone at the Four Seasons in Casablanca and hysterical.
There was, she sobbed, a problem with her bank. After calming Anna down, the trainer asked to speak to management. The trainer was torn: On the one hand, this was not her problem. Offering a prayer to the universe, the trainer gave the hotel her credit-card number and, when it failed to go through, made the requisite calls to her bank.
When it still failed to go through, she went the extra mile: She called a friend and had her give her credit-card information. When that failed to work, the hotel conceded the problem might be on their end. Later, the trainer would recognize this as a substantial gift from the Universe. At the time, she promised the hotel in Casablanca that Anna would make them whole. I just spent two days with her in Marrakech. Anna snuffled her thanks.
A few days later, a silvery Tesla pulled up in front of 11 Howard. Neff, at the concierge desk, felt her cell phone buzz. Anna was making good on her promise to leave 11 Howard. She was moving downtown to the Beekman Hotel , she told Neff, who watched her drive away in a car that she only later realized someone must have rented to her. Hennecke, were bouncing back. In retrospect, her terseness was understandable. Things were rapidly deteriorating for Anna Delvey in New York. A subsequent two-day stay at the W Hotel downtown ended in a similar fashion, and by July 5, Anna was effectively homeless, wandering the streets in threadbare Alexander Wang sportswear.
The trainer hesitated: She was in the middle of a date. She made her way to her lobby, where she found Anna with tears streaming down her face.
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Maybe she should call her family, the trainer suggested. She would, Anna replied, but her parents were in Africa.
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The date hid in the bedroom while the trainer made a bed for her unexpected houseguest and offered her a glass of water. There was one large bottle left. Anna ignored the two glasses placed on the counter and began swilling from the bottle. The following morning, the trainer resolved to draw a clear boundary. After lending Anna a clean and flattering dress, she sent her on her way with a gratis motivational speech.
But when Anna walked out the door, she left her laptop behind. The trainer was having none of it. She deposited the computer at the front desk and texted Anna that she could pick it up there. That evening, the trainer got a call from her doorman.
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Anna was in the lobby. When he refused, Anna had resolved to wait for the trainer to return home. The relief the trainer felt soon turned into worry. She found out why later that month, when both the Beekman and the W Hotel filed charges against Anna for theft of services. But no friends arrived. Maybe it was all a misunderstanding, as Anna told Todd Spodek, the criminal attorney she hired to fight the misdemeanor charges.
Just in case, Spodek, whose everyday clientele includes grifters, dog-murderers, femme fatales, rapists, and cybercriminals, among other miscreants, had her sign a lien on all of her assets, one that would ensure he got paid. On her way out, Anna asked a favor. Spodek demurred. The last thing his wife wanted was for him to bring his work home with him. Anna hemmed and hawed and dissembled and prevaricated and, as the women got increasingly angry, allowed two fat tears to roll down her cheeks.
Anna Sorokin, has been remanded without bail since October I thought it was a boss move. Not wanting to leave Anna homeless after their intervention last summer, the trainer and a friend agreed to put Anna up at a hotel for one night, after having the hotel remove the mini-bar and giving strict instructions not to allow her any room service. She subsequently checked in to the Bowery Hotel for two nights, sending the hotel a receipt for a wire transfer from Deutsche Bank that never came.
Rachel Williams, City National, and others also received phony wire-transfer receipts, which a representative of the bank identified as forged. Hennecke, seems to have been a fictional character; his cell-phone number belonged to a now-defunct burner phone from a supermarket, New York found. A living Peter Hennecke did not return calls for comment. People looked over curiously. The murderers were the most interesting to her.
Over the course of three months, I spoke to Anna over the phone and visited her several times, occasionally bringing her copies of Forbes, Fast Company, and The Wall Street Journal at her request. Anna Sorokin was born in Russia in , and moved to Germany in , when she was 16, with her younger brother and her parents, who, after being independently tracked down by and speaking with New York, asked to remain anonymous, as news of their daughters arrest has not yet reached the small rural community where they live.
Anna attended high school in Eschweiler, a small working-class town 60 kilometers outside Cologne, near the Belgian and Dutch border. Her classmates remember her as quiet, with an unwieldy command of German. Her father had worked as a truck driver and later as an executive at a transport company until it became insolvent in , whereupon he opened a heating-and-cooling business specializing in energy-efficient devices.
That said, he went on, the family did support her to an extent after Anna graduated from high school in She moved first to London, where she attended Central Saint Martins College, then she dropped out and returned to Berlin, where she interned in the fashion department of a public-relations firm before relocating to Paris, where she landed a coveted internship at Purple magazine and became Anna Delvey. She assured us these costs were the best investment. The future was always bright. They always trusted me with my decision-making. Ask a question about this product.
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